Discussions of legal action between the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series and the PGA Tour have been just that. So far.
As first reported in the the wall street journal On Wednesday, 11 LIV golfers are suing to challenge their PGA Tour suspensions.
Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau are among the 11 continuing the Tour.
Three other LIV golfers – Talor Gooch, Matt Jones and Hudson Swafford – are part of the lawsuit because they are seeking a temporary restraining order so they can play in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup playoffs.
Other golfers involved are Abraham Ancer, Jason Kokrak, Carlos Ortiz, Pat Perez, Ian Poulter and Peter Uihlein.
The three-event PGA Tour playoffs begin next week in Memphis. Gooch, Jones and Swafford qualified for the playoffs before leaving for LIV.
The lawsuit, obtained by golf weekStates:
As the Tour’s monopoly power grew, it used its dominance to create an arsenal of anti-competitive restraints to protect its long-standing monopoly. Now threatened by the entry of LIV Golf, Inc. (“LIV Golf”) and diametrically opposed to its founding mission, the Tour has ventured to harm the careers and livelihoods of all golfers, including plaintiffs Phil Mickelson, Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford, Matt Jones, Bryson DeChambeau, Abraham Ancer, Carlos Ortiz, Ian Poulter, Pat Perez, Jason Kokrak and Peter Uihlein (“Claimants”), who have the temerity to challenge the Tour and play in tournaments sponsored by the newcomer. The Tour did so in an intentional and relentless effort to crush nascent competition before it threatened the Tour’s monopoly.
LIV Golf has now staged three events and ahead of each a new group of players from the PGA Tour and DP World Tour have joined the upstart circuit backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. And each time, the Tour suspended them.
Saudi Arabia has been accused of numerous human rights violations, including politically motivated killings, torture, enforced disappearances and inhumane treatment of prisoners. And members of the Saudi royal family and government have been accused of involvement in the murder of Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
“I just wish it wasn’t like that. I think wherever you qualify, you have the credentials to play somewhere you should be able to,” Ancer told Golfweek last week during the LIV Golf Invitational Series event at Trump National Bedminster. He also thinks he would play in the playoffs if given the chance. “Everything changes from day to day, so I don’t even know what’s going on. I’m attached to LIV, but I’d like to play anywhere in the world. We’ll see what happens.”
Matthew Wolff was unable to give a definitive answer on whether or not he would make the playoffs when asked at Trump Bedminster, but said he would “absolutely” consider it.